The Kid's Chronicle

Pediatric Dentist For Special Needs Children

From the eruption of your child’s first tooth, they will need dental services.  Children with special needs especially must see the dentist in order to prevent serious problems. While taking your special needs child to the dentist may be a frustrating task, there is a pediatric dentist for special needs children right here at Kid’s […]


Kid's Choice Dental

The first dentist your child
will look forward to.

By Kid's Choice Dental

From the eruption of your child’s first tooth, they will need dental services.  Children with special needs especially must see the dentist in order to prevent serious problems. While taking your special needs child to the dentist may be a frustrating task, there is a pediatric dentist for special needs children right here at Kid’s Choice Dental in several locations in King County and Pierce County.

What is special needs dentistry?

A pediatric dentist for special needs children has special training to treat patients who require additional care, patience, and compassion as part of their treatment. While most patients can handle going to the dentist, some patients may have severe anxiety or cognitive and physical issues that demand special requirements for dental care.

Special needs children often suffer more dental problems than the general population, putting them at higher risk of cavities, tooth decay, broken teeth, and gum disease. Practicing routine oral health care at home is more challenging and visits to the dentist’s office are more traumatic. After all, it’s a strange location with new sounds, sights, and smells, as well as unfamiliar people.

Here at Kid’s Choice Dental, we are sensitive to the needs of your child and can provide care for a wide range of special needs children including those with:

  • Autism
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • ADHD/ADD
  • Down Syndrome
  • ODD
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Vision and/or Hearing Impaired
  • Sensitivity to Light and Sound
  • Bi-Polar Disorder

Oral Health Issues Special Needs Children Face

  • Difficulty brushing and flossing
  • Inability to verbally communicate the pain they are experiencing
  • Fear of the dentist’s office, including the dental chair and instruments
  • Social anxiety

We take all of these issues seriously and we have the training and the experience to make your special needs child as comfortable as possible so they can receive the best treatment possible during your visit.

How does Kid’s Choice accommodate special needs children?

  • One of the ways a pediatric dentist for special needs children accommodates special needs children is by creating a comfortable and welcoming environment to alleviate feelings of fear and anxiety. We will also meet with you and your child prior to any procedures to get to know them and become familiar with/to them to promote calm.
  • Understanding your child and their special needs helps us provide personalized care from the very first visit. It allows us to prepare for your child’s appointment. For instance, we could turn down the lights or reduce noise levels for children who are sensitive to either or both. Perhaps your child needs a gentle touch. Knowing this can be the difference between a positive visit or a negative one. The more we know about your child’s needs, the better.

Techniques and Technology We Use For Special Needs Children

Not only do we create a warm and welcoming environment for special needs children, but we also work to educate and support parents as they do their best to provide dental care at home. We can teach you strategies to care for your special needs child’s teeth in order to reduce the difficulty and/or frustration.

Part of our effort to provide the best oral health care to your special needs child is using state-of-the-art technology including low radiation digital x-rays and 3D impressions.

What to Expect at the First Appointment

  • After meeting with you and your special needs child to learn about what they require, we will also obtain a list of any medications they may be taking. If need be, we will work with your pediatrician to ensure optimal care.
  • A pediatric dentist for special needs children employs multiple strategies to treat your child, including nitrous oxide, medication, and general anesthesia to calm them down for the procedure.
  • We will perform a gentle cleaning of your child’s teeth and take any x-rays or impressions we need to check for hidden problems.
  • Parents are more than welcome to remain in the examination room with their child to provide comfort.
  • We will discuss your child’s oral health with you to help you understand what’s going on and provide you with the information you need and answer any questions.
  •  Follow-up appointments can be scheduled.

Is Nitrous Oxide Safe for Special Needs Children?

Nitrous oxide is just one method we can use to keep your child calm during a procedure. Special needs children who move around a lot or have serious behavioral issues may need to be administered nitrous oxide so we can properly examine and care for their teeth.

We administer nitrous oxide by placing a nose mask on your child and having them inhale the gas. Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective technique, including for autistic children. If your special needs child has any breathing problems, additional caution will be exercised or a different method will be used.

What can parents do to prepare?

The best way parents can prepare their child for a trip to the pediatric dentist for special needs is by visiting early and regularly. Generally, you should schedule the first dentist appointment after the first tooth erupts, usually around six months to a year after birth.

Bringing your child to the dentist early and regularly builds familiarity by exposing them to the sights, sounds, and smells around them, as well as the dental staff and tools.

If your child is older and you are seeking a new pediatric dentist for special needs, it will be even more of a challenge to build familiarity. However, parents can feel free to schedule a visit to tour our office prior to scheduling an appointment in an effort to make the child more comfortable with their new surroundings and our staff.

For even more convenience, parents can fill out necessary forms at home prior to the appointment and should make a list of medications their child takes and any questions they want to ask.

Pediatric Dentist for Special Needs Children in WA

Kid’s Choice Dental serves various locations in King County and Pierce County. We are a pediatric dentist for special needs children with the experience, skills, and compassion necessary for providing the specialized and personalized care your child requires.

Every child deserves to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of whether they have special needs or not. So make an appointment with us by calling 253-848-7000 or by visiting our website today!

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